Seward is located on north end of Resurrection Bay in the Kenai Peninsula. This coastal town is not too far from Anchorage and is easily accessible by road. This sea side spot is located in Southern Alaska and has fairly moderate temperatures year round due to the coastal climate. The hallmark “Seward Highway” is your road in and is bountiful with ocean, glacier, and mountainous views.
Before the European invasion in the 18th century this land was inhabited by Alutiiq speaking people known as Unegkurmiut. Three villages sprung from Seward and encompassed the entire south coast. Soon, Russian pressure would either force or persuade the people to leave the area (Chugachmiut).
Today, Seward gains it’s namesake from the purchase of Alaska from the Russian Empire in 1867. This purchase was coordinated by William H. Seward, Secretary of the State at the time. The city holds his name in honor to this day.
Before this transition of ownership, and the full removal of native peoples, Alex Baranov, established fur trade routes. He had a famous boat builder from England build a three-masted ship to serve the Russian force in the bay.
Seward had a military fort established during WWII to help protect the riverside communities. The fort was never used for war tactics. However, in 1964, The Alaska Earthquake created a tsunami that devastated large parts of the town and surrounding area.
Today Seward is a coastal town admired by many for various reasons. It is the southern most terminus for the Iditarod race, with mile 0 located right on the shorelines. Simultaneously, this town is located at the southern most point for the Alaskan Railroad. This makes this location a prime spot for port imports and exports.
Many folks arrive by either cruise ship in or a cruise down one of the most scenic highways. Glaciers loom over the coastline and create an often overcast and rainy ecosystem. The gloom seems to highlight the blue ice in the nearby tidal glaciers and the vibrant life that grows abundantly here. This place may be teeming with people visiting, and for good reason, there are enough fantastic views and exploring to go around for everyone. Seward today is a hot spot for anyone wanting to get a taste of where the mountains, ice, and ocean all come together. And an epic place for wildlife sightings.
What to Do, Where to Go
Nestled between the ocean and mountains, Seward is a favorite to visit. On the land, there are a multitude of scenic day hikes that bring you to some of the most breath taking views. Glaciers decorate the shorelines here and provide a paddlers playground by sea kayak. You can paddle around ice bergs and take in the coastal wildlife.
Downtown Seward is home to a variety of delicious local food stops. Additionally, this quaint area is a hub to get out on a boat and go whale watching during migration seasons. Seward can be a perfect stop along the way on an itinerary to Kenai Fjords National Park. On the other hand, it is a quick trip in from the city and can help you make the most out of just one day. Seward is an Alaskan hallmark that you should not miss.